Castes among Muslims? – II

The word used to refer to whether a person is Syed, Sheikh, Pathan etc is ‘zaat’, which literally translates as caste. How does ‘zaat’ translate as biradari or qaum?

Are these words thrown around to differentiate or to show others as inferior? The biradaris/qaums are in order of superiority. If they are only meant to differentiate, why are they in order of superiority?

One of our neighbors were Sheikhs but since their last name was Ansari, people thought that they were of Ansari biradari/qaum/caste. Their daughter was a doctor, beautiful and well-mannered, but the poor girl got married after the age of 30. Even if she was Ansari, is being Ansari a crime?

The discussion is whether there are castes among Muslims, not whether there are castes in Islam. There are no castes in Islam.

I am what would be labeled a Sheikh, but I don’t see myself as superior to Mughals, Pathans etc, and I don’t see why Syeds are better than me.

It is the actions of a person that determine whether he is better or worse, not some senseless and useless labeling of biradaris, qaums and castes.

4 thoughts on “Castes among Muslims? – II”

  1. Thank you for mentioning the ayah and the translation.

    I have repeatedly stated that there are no castes in Islam. Only that Muslims have set up a system that is in order of superiority. A Qabeela or Qaum has never been and can never be in order of superiority.

    I stated that there are no castes in Islam in my comments in the first part of this post, and then again in the fourth paragraph of this post.

  2. Salam,
    Brotehr Yusha, from ur first post on this topic, Wallah i understoof that ur intention was not to say that there are castes in Islam, rest Allah knows best about everyone’s intentions. but u may realise that for an outsider…by outsider i mean someone who is outside the pale of Islam…would think that ‘oh so even Islam has such a system…and tehy consider themselves so and so…’
    hope u understand what i mean and still not so one of the comments to ur first post on this topic would do more explanation:
    May 13th, 2009 22:21 GMT
    I never knew that Islam too has this evil Caste System. I can assure that caste system in any way is not useful neither to relegion nor to the country.The only thing it create is a division among people.”

    As for the ayaah, yes it is from Surah Al Hijrat, Ayaah No. 13.
    Starts: ‘Ya Ayyuhan Naaso Inna Khalaqnaakum….’

    Translation is: ‘O people! Surely we have created you from one man and one woman and divided you in to ‘Zaat’ and ‘Qabeelah’ so that you would eb able to identify each other, surely, the most honourable among you nearest to Allah is the one who is the most pious; surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.’


  3. >>>Islam has no castes and the ayaah that i mntioned states clearly on what basis one Muslim is better than the other

    I know Islam has no castes. I am taking about differences created by Muslims, not Islam. Qaums, Qabeelahs etc are to differentiate, but what Muslims have set up is to show inferiority/superiority. This is what caste is meant to do.

    Are you sure it is Surah al Hijrat, ayah No. 13. I checked it but did not find anything related to the topic.

  4. Dear brother Yusha,
    Surah al Hijrat, ayaah No. 13. sha’ooba is the word used for zaat which is equivalent to Qaum. Allah created qaums and Qabeelahs aming humankind so that we would be able to know each other- rcognition etc. Of course not so that we would be proud and consider others lower than us. But if a person sticks to their own Qaum, that as well si no crime, in marriage matters etc. Afghans prefer their own people, its not becaus they considr teh rst of the world inferior to them, its just that they prefer their own people, whether due to more compatibility or whatever, but not because anyone considers teh other of a lower caste.
    Islam has no castes and the ayaah that i mntioned states clearly on what basis one Muslim is better than the other.


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